I bought this book without knowing anything about the author or the book itself, because I happened to have just enough money for it (everything else in the shop cost £1 more!).
I've got to say, this isn't the easiest book in the world to read, it's not something I'd recommend even to sci-fi fans. Perhaps the most annoying thing about it is the constant use of the present tense, which sounds like a small thing but once you've read about 20 pages it starts to grate like a bear's claw on an old blackboard. I'm not even sure why Kerr did this, it certainly didn't add anything to the book. Perhaps it was just an attempt to be different purely for the sake of being different?
Other things that grated were the supposedly clever devices which just seemed far too obvious, for example in the future "Star Trek" will be regarded in the same way as classical literature apparently. Another was the swapping round of black people and white people, with white folks poor and persecuted. Never mind that this grossly oversimplifies the current situation, even as a stylised parable it's so unimaginative in its message that you wonder why Kerr bothered. Good moral parables get you to think, but this doesn't.
The main story is okay, the main characters are okay, but there's nothing about this book that made it particularly enjoyable to read. Maybe I'm missing the point somehow and would like it more if I was more familiar with Kerr's other works, but this is certainly not a suitable introduction to the author.